In March, Scott Pruitt signed his first official action as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The New York Times headline captured it well: “EPA Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide.”
Chlorpyrifos is a widely used neurotoxic insecticide—and study after study has shown that exposure to this chemical harms the development of children’s brains. One study even used MRI technology to link chlorpyrifos exposure to changes in brain architecture. And when mothers are exposed during pregnancy, their children have lower IQs, developmental delays and increased risk of autism.
This year, EPA was poised to finally halt use of chlorpyrifos on agricultural crops, after banning home use in 2001. But Pruitt reversed that decision, ignoring science and clear evidence of harm.